Monday, July 30, 2012

Third Meeting With Our Homestudy Agency

Today, we had our third homestudy meeting!

It was our in-home visit.

We over-cleaned and over-prepared! When our social worker arrived, we gave her some of the paperwork we have been working on and did some brief catching up. Then we gave her a tour of our home. We had to show her our smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, fire escape plan, and fire extinguisher. Other than that, we were asked some questions about our community and what it may be like when we meet our children for the first time, and also when we bring them home.

It went wonderfully well!


We have our last homestudy visit scheduled for Monday, August 6th!

We have got to get working on our paperwork chase now--documents prepared by us and others.

Funny not-so-funny story. Last night, Colin and I were talking, and I was, you know, talking about how we needed to get going on our paperwork now that our education was all complete. And I went on and on and on. And I had this plan in my head that we would have it all done in 2 weeks.

We had just started working on some documents on our dossier disc last week, trying to get a head start. We woke up this morning to do more, and the disc was empty.


Like, not only our progress was erased but every document on the disc! We have no idea how that happened. So, we have been calling and e-mailing AGCI to see if they can quickly send us another disc or e-mail us the files needed for our dossier.

Oh boy, tell God your plans, and laugh, He will!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Comfortable More Than Christ

I read a post by Ann Voskamp that touched my heart deeply. In the post, she reflected on her trip to Haiti, and the people and experiences she encountered while there. Convictions and reflections.

Below is a small excerpt, but to read all her thoughts, please visit the post at: A Holy Experience.

Ann writes:

How can you lie still when babies are drowning in a sea of poverty?
How can you not scream?
I tell Mama that I think I’m angry.
I’m angry at sin that smothers children and selfishness that steals human dignity and apathy that infects the hearts of the comfortable. And I pound my own chest.
I’m angry at me.
Angry at how much I want comfortable more than I want Christ.

Faith cannot have a non-response.
We’re either responding with indifference or with intercession, either with apathy or aid.
You can’t look into the face of the poor and just plead the fifth amendment.

Your life is always your answer.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Passports Arrived

Yesterday, Colin's passport arrived!

Today, my passport arrived!

One more step to check off our list!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Home Study Visit Rescheduled

We had planned for our third homestudy visit (and first in-home visit) to be this Monday, July 23rd, but our social worker had to cancel due to a birthmother needing her during a troubling time.

We completely understand and know that God knows what He is doing!

This may or may not delay us in getting on the waitlist, but we know that we will be put exactly where we need to be, when we need to be there, in order that we would receive our referral.

Our new visit time is:
2:30 on Monday, July 30th

Since Colin and I now have four days off together (with preparation for our visit held off for a week), we are quite excited to be finishing our education, and diving into official dossier documents!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Cross

There were two prayer tents at Lifest. They each had several prayer activities that you could participate in if you chose to do so.

I was drawn to the cross.

The cross must have stood at least 12 feet tall. The activity was to write down on a piece of paper a burden or prayer. Then you could choose a nail and hammer it into the cross.

Hundreds of prayers were covering this cross.
Prayers from the broken and the bruised.
Because we all are.

We immediately knew we wanted to write a prayer for our adoption--that God would lead us to our children, and that He would keep them safe, healthy, and loved.

Colin nailing our prayer to the cross:

 We were drawn to the cross a second time. We knew we had to pray about what God was teaching us about His plan for us. To keep it vague while we are praying through what He has been revealing to us, He has been wrecking us.

Breaking our hearts for what breaks His.

And it hurts.
And it causes fear if we are not careful.
And it causes us to wonder in amazement why He is calling us to go.

Me, nailing our second prayer to the cross.

All we can say is, "Here we are. Send us."

Monday, July 16, 2012

Doctor's Appointments

For our adoption, we are required to have physicals, including TB tests and blood drawn.

We had our initial appointments on Friday, July 13th. Everything went well, except that the nurse could not find my vein to get blood drawn, so I was poked three times. Ouch.

Today, we are having our TB tests read, and our paperwork notarized. It was tricky figuring out when mine and Colin's different doctors could read our tests and sign-off on our paperwork and coordinate that with a notary being present whose expiration date was no less than 3 years.

Our notary's expiration date has to be 3 years or greater, because that is how long we could potentially be waiting for our precious referral.

Our next steps are: complete our final online education course, have our third homestudy meeting (our first in-home meeting) on Monday, July 23rd, and finish our paperwork chase.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lifest: A Party With A Purpose- Days 3-5

Lifest is now over.

We are a little bit sad, exhausted, and sunburned, but most of all, we are changed. God is wrecking our hearts. Something happens when you ask God to break your heart for what breaks His--so be careful before you pray that very prayer, because He just might do it.

We have a lot to process, and a lot to share with you in the future, but here is the breakdown of what our last three days of Lifest looked like.

Day 3, Friday, we saw:
Sanctus Real
Casting Crowns
For King & Country

Day 4, Saturday, we saw:
Steven Curtis Chapman seminar
Building 429
Mark Schultz
Boys and Girls Club Black Star Drum Line
Tenth Avenue North
Steven Curtis Chapman
Tenth Avenue North late night worship

Day 5, Sunday, we saw:
Worship service with Scott Dawson and Bob Lenz
Tammy Borden Band
Building 429

(among other speakers and comedians)

During these 5 glorious days, we got to be a part of many talented musicians leading us in worshipping our Creator, many speakers that God used to inspire us, AND we got to witness hundreds of children, teenagers, and adults give their lives to Christ for the very first time!

It was so beautiful.

Hallelujah, God is good!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lifest: A Party With A Purpose- Days 1&2

Today is day 2 of Lifest!

What is Lifest?!? A party with a purpose! It is a five day Christian music festival in Oshkosh, WI. Dozens of awesome bands perform, there are speakers, comedians, seminars, guitar workshops, children's activities--including a visit from Veggie Tales' Bob and Larry--and so much more!

It is Colin's and my first year attending. And we are pretty hopeful that we will make this an annual tradition. Our ears are ringing from awesome music!

Day 1, Wednesday, we saw:
The Rhett Walker Band
Holly Starr
Robbie Seay Band
Reggie Dabbs (keynote speaker)

Day 2, Thursday, we saw:
several seminars
Bone Hampton (comedian)
JJ Heller
The City Harmonic
Matthew West
Bob Lenz (keynote speaker and founder of Lifest)

More to come!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Adoption Education Update

This last week, Colin and I finished our With Eyes Wide Open workbook--all 20 chapters! AND, we finished all 7 online courses from Adoption Learning Partners. This is to be celebrated!

We have invaluable information on adoption, losses and gains, transitions to home, attachment, traveling, prejudice, talking about adoption, grief, transracial families, discipline, and more.

I think back to being presented with all of this material, and feeling so overwhelmed. But, it has taught us so, so much. I know we will reread much of the material over the years to come.

We just have one more online course to complete for our home study agency, and we'll be done with our education.

Next steps:
Last online course
Doctor's appointments on July 13th
Home study meeting #3, in-home, on July 23rd
Local criminal check
Employment verification letters
Recommendation letters
Documents prepared by us

Once our homestudy and dossier are complete and approved, we will join the AGCI listserv and be given our very first waiting number!

Words For Thought

I had come to see that the great tragedy in the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not know the poor . . . I long for the Calcutta slums to meet the Chicago suburbs, for lepers to meet landowners and for each to see God’s image in the other . . . I truly believe that when the poor meet the rich, riches will have no meaning. And when the rich meet the poor, we will see poverty come to an end.
~Shane Claiborne

Sunday, July 1, 2012


A few Sundays ago, I was in church, worshipping God with song.

Revelation song.

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Holy, holy is He
Sing a new song to Him who sits on
Heaven's mercy seat

Men and women took turns receiving prayers from other men and women.

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
With all creation I sing praise to the King of kings
You are my everything and I will adore you

I stood near Colin. Close, but away.

Singing to the Lamb who is worthy, moisture in my eyes for the hurting and suffering.

A vision.
Of our Home.
Our Heaven Home.

Arms high and heart abandoned.
Every soul God formed from clay.
Rising to touch the majesty of the King.

Clothed in rainbows of living color
Flashes of lightning rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength and glory
And power be to You the only wise King

And on the altar,
I gave the King our babies.
Kneeling. Falling.

Take this offering.
Not my will, but Yours be done.
Not in my time, but in Yours.
I find strength in the power of grasping Your hand.
Lift me up. Open my heart. Fill me with wonder.

Filled with wonder awestruck wonder
At the mention of Your name
Jesus Your name is power, breath and living water
Such a marvelous mystery